Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Monday, March 13, 2017

And another outrage you probably never heard about

A component of the Affordable Care Act which doesn't get a lot of attention is called the Prevention and Public Health Fund. Most of the money goes to CDC which uses it to track disease outbreaks and get vaccines to places where they are needed and vaccinate people who can't afford to pay. It also sends $625 million a year to the states, which using the money for vaccination and other preventive services. The bill in congress to "replace" the ACA eliminates all of this funding.

The BMJ asked the Dept. of Health and Human Services whether this has anything to do with "president" Trump's belief that vaccination causes autism, but got no response.

Now, if you're a Republican, you think that government spending is evil a fortiori because it requires taxation. But you might consider the following information from the linked article:

The $1bn funding also covers all of CDC’s lead exposure testing and risk reduction efforts. CDC estimated that the current rate of lead exposure, with at least 535 000 children with toxic blood concentrations, will cost America $59bn in lost lifetime productivity. Research has shown that each dollar spent on reducing exposure to lead delivers a return of $17 to $221.5

CDC has estimated that vaccination among American children born from 1994 to 2013 would prevent around 21 million admissions to hospital and 732 000 deaths over the course of their lifetimes, with a net savings of $295bn in direct costs and $1.38 trillion in total societal costs.6
But it's more important that rich people not pay taxes.


Anonymous said...

Excellent points.
Smart businessmen will invest money now if it increases profits or reduces costs in the future. They've even been known to BORROW money (the horror!) in order to do that.
It looks like Republicans have little or no business acumen. We should be electing people who understand things like cost / benefit ratios.
Just sayin'.

JenBob said...

Seems like a small part of the ACA overall. If ACA is repealed, what's to stop legislatures from passing this as a separate bill or simply getting rid of enough fat at HHS to accommodate this in their budget (and yes, there's plenty of fat at HHS and most other gov't agencies)?

Holding up one small part of ACA to justify keeping the the entire status quo seems silly. Focus on the larger parts. The part, for instance, where more people have an insurance card that means less and less as access shrinks for them. Or that the middle class pays more for insurance and now all the policies are 'catastrophic' policies because the deductibles are upward of 10k or more.

Maybe focus on the underlying cause such as the actual cost of medical services.

I don't hear anyone discussing why one hospital charges twice what the one down the street charges or that they have different prices for depending on what insurance you have.

That would be a refreshing and interesting discussion...